As the University of Leeds catering department, Great Food at Leeds recognises the importance of operating in an environmentally and socially responsible manner. GFaL’s goal is to become number one in the higher education sector for sustainability, reaching ambitious goals such as zero single-use plastics by 2023. Aside from the plastic pledge, there are also a number of other sustainable initiatives being worked on.
GFaL is also committed to continually improving the nutritional content of its meals, and will provide a diverse offer that meets current health guidance. GFaL will work to be a positive partner in society, sharing skills and knowledge, supporting local initiatives and building the capacity of existing and future staff to deliver sustainable catering.
So far a number of initiatives have already been undertaken:
• Partnering with Too Good To Go, an innovative app and social enterprise that aims to put an end to food waste in the hospitality industry: toogoodtogo.co.uk
• Opened a new Green and Go counter at The Refectory and increased the number of plant-based meals and options across all The Refectory counters to encourage customers to eat more plant-based and plant-focused meals.
• Increased the volume of plant-based options in delivered catering, with 70% of the menu being either vegan or vegetarian.
• Continued to support Fairtrade products and ethically sourced ingredients.
• Worked with local suppliers to reduce waste including fruit and vegetables supplier H&P Fine Foods on a solution that has enabled the re-use of boxes that are used in their deliveries.
• Made sustainable fish swaps including replacing cod with pollock in The Refectory with over 15,000 pieces of cod per year replaced.
In the next 12 months GFaL will…
• Continue to monitor and reduce the use of single use items across catering operations to ensure meet the goal of becoming single-use plastic free by 2023.
• Continue to work in collaboration with the School of Food Science and Nutrition to increase the availability of healthier food and improve nutritional content.
• Reduce the overall meat content across meals and increase the amount of meat free/ vegan meals available.
• Increase the offer of locally and seasonally produced food.
• Reduce food waste and increase the use of the Too Good to Go app.
• Work with the Sustainability team and procurement to ensure catering outlets have accessible and easy to use recycling infrastructure.